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Re: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc

From: (wrong string) é Luis Borbinha <jose.borbinha@bn.pt>
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2000 17:51:39 +0100
Message-ID: <012801c0175c$6a510aa0$6500030a@bnp.pt>
To: "Paskin, Norman \(DOI-ELS\)" <n.paskin@doi.org>, "'Leslie Daigle'" <leslie@thinkingcat.com>
Cc: <uri@w3.org>
I guess that the key issue in this discussion is the notion of "context".
I understand the IEFT perspective for "resource" in the same sense as we
have in any human society the perspective for the concept of "name".

What is in a name? People have names, but also cats, dogs, horses, etc.
(even trees and flowers...). In this sense when someone says "I'm listening
Vivaldi" or "I'm listening Elvis" in my home, it can be a reference to a
music of one of these artists (I have CDs with works of both), but it can be
also a reference to any of our two cats (which make a lot of noise when are
playing fighting...).
So why are we not crazy at home (well, I guess we are not...)? "CONTEXT"!
When we use one of these identifiers each one tries to understand the
context and as a result inn each moment we are able to resolve that
identifier for a very practical and physical thing such as a cat, or to an
immaterial thing such as a song (please take note that in this case we are
using these names not even to refer to the artists, but to an hypothetic
work made by them...)

So, we have that from the IETF perspective, a "URI can be further classified
as a locator, a name, or both."
It can be a URL, a URN, or anything else that we can prove fits in the
definition. But being defined like this are URIs useful for something?
Well, that depends of the context. For example, in the work in the
definition of XML namespaces it has been an helpful concept... Which brings
us to the W3C scope, proofing that in fact we don't have here two parallel
activities, but in fact only one (people at W3C look to be aware of the IEFT
work, and vice-versa...).
So if you have a problem and you find useful to use the URI concept on it,
you have an hammer for your nail. If note, you need another solution... The
wrong way would be to pick the URI concept, as defined, and try to use it as
an hammer for ANY nail (which I think was what Leslie had in mind to say in
her last email...). This is my conclusion of all of this!!!!

I think that the problems raised by Norman make more sense in the
traditional ISO perspective, where usually the processes started because
someone points the need for a solution for a practical problem, but they are
driven not in the sense to solve that specific problem but in the hope of
solving all the related issues in the same effort (see the famous OSI
seven-layers model for distributed systems and Z39.50, for example, and
compare them with TCP/IP, TELNET, HTTP, SMTP, POP, etc...).

Resuming, I think that in this case the IETF should continue promoting these
efforts in the hope that people will take advantage of them, even if in the
practice the results are resumed to the (VERY USEFUL) URLs and URNs (but in
this case at least the URI provides the founding concept!).

jose borbinha
José Luis Borbinha <jose.borbinha@bn.pt>
Biblioteca Nacional (National Library of Portugal)
Direcção de Serviços de Inovação e Desenvolvimento
(Direction of Services for Innovation and Development)
Campo Grande, 83 - 1749-081 Lisboa - PORTUGAL
Tel./Fax: (+351) 217 982 083 / 217 982 123

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)" <n.paskin@doi.org>
To: "'Leslie Daigle'" <leslie@thinkingcat.com>
Cc: <uri@w3.org>
Sent: Terça-feira, 5 de Setembro de 2000 09:29
Subject: RE: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc

> The context of my comments on "what is a resource" was in response to
> Leslie's request for involvement with "the IETF community to examine the
> area of more sophisticated (than simple "http get") resource access
> services", and add the perspective of the DOI community.  The discussion
> this was to be at an informal meeting on Nov 3 but seems to have kicked
> on this list.
> I accept that applications are the place to further constrain the
> definitions of what the applications consider Resource or URIs (as noted
> Roy and Michael).  After all, that's exactly what we are doing in the case
> of DOI: we apply the concept of URN (or URI, depending on your prejudice
> :-)) and add to it policies e.g. accompanying metadata describing the
> resource according to a data model, etc. which make sense in the DOI
> namespace, and limitations on the resource (must be a piece of
> property, though that is not a narrow restriction of course).
> I then wonder though what can be achieved in this IETF discussion if we
> apparently to restrict to the lowest common denominator of any resource =
> any thing, any time, any place, no defining resource descriptors, no
> constraints.   Can someone give an example of what sort of new resource
> access service is envisaged and can be meaningfully constructed, given
> (non-) limitations, other than "pointing to" (= get) the resource?  How do
> "know" that this resource is a fax number, not a Tuesday afternoon? It may
> be that "if we constrain that entire document to just that then its very
> doable" - but is it useful?  The usefulness of DOI comes from having
> constraints and being able to construct services using the information the
> constraints supply.
> I fully accept that this perception might be too narrow and may be due to
> where I am coming from: I am not considering issues such as IP telephony
> noted by Leslie in her latest note, and of course am not an Internet
> technologist.  Maybe I have missed something here: I haven't seen any
> scoping document for the IETF discussion other than the material Leslie
> produced.  Is there supplementary material that would help?
> Norman Paskin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leslie Daigle [mailto:leslie@thinkingcat.com]
> Sent: 04 September 2000 19:41
> To: Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)
> Cc: uri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc
> Norman,
> I understand where you're coming from, but I don't believe this is
> the right document in which to attempt to solve it.  From the standpoint
> of URIs, resources truly can be anything "with identity" -- and
> what that means will vary depending on whether you're building an
> electronic information interchange or an IP telephony system
> (is the thing at the end of this telephone number URL connected to a
> human?  or might it be fax, voicemail...).  URIs are used in
> many different information contexts, and I truly doubt there is
> a single, practically applicable, definition of "resource" that
> would work for all of them.
> That being said, I agree that to build useful tools, one does have to
> nail down criteria, assumptions, or at least expectations about the
> "resources" that will be handled.   But that means defining the
> context first (e.g., e-commerce of digital intellectual property
> elements) and then asserting what the additional stipulations for
> validity within that context are.
> As to saying what something is -- there's the RDF work, and there's
> also the on-going RESCAP (resource capability) working group within
> the IETF, which originally was intended to be a service for determining
> capabilities of things like mailboxes (e.g., will this mailbox
> accept Word attachments), but latterly the thinking has been
> to see it as a candidate for querying more general capabilities
> of specific resources.  I'm not really convinced it's the answer
> to your question, but I mention it because it's there...
> Leslie.
> "Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)" wrote:
> >
> > RFC 2396 says: "A resource can be anything that has identity". Gee thats
> > helpful in designing tools!  :-).
> >
> > I think my point still stands:
> > "the answer to the question "what is a resource".  As the W3C RDF
> > has found (in my opinion), it is no longer sufficient to gloss over this
> by
> > saying "whatever you want".  It may indeed be necessary to allow it to
> > "whatever you want" but there must be  some constraints if we are to
> > useful tools to deal with resources: "whatever you want, but you say
> it
> > is as follows....so that we can design tools which will do the
> > following...."
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Roy T. Fielding [mailto:fielding@kiwi.ICS.UCI.EDU]
> > Sent: 04 September 2000 10:03
> > To: Paskin, Norman (DOI-ELS)
> > Cc: uri@w3.org
> > Subject: Re: FYI -- draft ietf uri doc
> >
> > >1.  I note that this is indeed an attempt to say what the current IETF
> > >picture is.  As such, it clearly lacks a key component: the answer to
> > >question "what is a resource".  As the W3C RDF activity has found (in
> >
> > Resource is defined in RFC 2396.
> >
> > ....Roy
> --
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> "Reality with a delicate splash of the imaginary...
>     ... or was that the other way around?"
>    -- ThinkingCat
> Leslie Daigle
> leslie@thinkingcat.com
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Tuesday, 5 September 2000 13:09:02 UTC

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